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Former Iowa Writers’ Workshop instructor returns to town for an Iowa Writers’ House class


Author Rebecca Makkai -- photo courtesy of the Iowa Writers' House
Author Rebecca Makkai — photo courtesy of the Iowa Writers’ House

This weekend, the Iowa Writers’ House welcomes former Writers’ Workshop instructor Rebecca Makkai for a three-day workshop titled “The Basics of Fiction: For Newbies and Pros.” The class is designed to exercise fundamentals in a way that benefits both experienced writers and those starting from scratch. It will explore the solid architecture of narrative writing, as well as innovation in structure.

Makkai, a Chicago native, is a frequent contributor to Harpers, Tin House, Ploughshares and This American Life. She was named in May to NewCity Lit‘s Lit 50 2016, a list of the 50 most promising and exciting voices on Chicago’s literary scene.

It was announced earlier this week that her short story “The Museum of the Dearly Departed,” featured in the Spring 2015 issue of The Iowa Review, had been shortlisted for The Best American Short Stories for 2016, edited by Junot Díaz. Makkai’s stories had been previously anthologized in the prestigious collection in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Makkai received an NEA Fellowship in 2014. Her short story collection, Music for Wartime (Viking), was released in June of last year. In addition to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she has also taught at Northwestern University and StoryStudio Chicago.

The workshop, which cost $245 ($195 for students), began Friday and runs through Sunday afternoon. The Iowa Writers’ House has been offering these intensive weekend workshop experiences regularly since its inception. Increasingly, they’ve been able to offer scholarships to participants, with four awarded for this class. They are always accepting applications to teach courses and donations to their scholarship fund.


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